Why seven years of Tribulation?

Most of the Old Testament translations specify, in Daniel 9:27, the period called "week", which specifies already known 70 weeks of Daniel.

But, the word "week", as described in Daniel 9:27, does not mean "seven days". It means "seven years", according to the original Hebbrew text.

The original word, in Hebrew, is "SHABUA". It corresponds to a seven years period, not seven days.

Some of the English translations already bring this word correctly translated, preserving the real sense as in Hebrew.

Daniel 9:24-27 tells us why the Tribulation will last seven years:

  1. Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.  
  2. Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
  3. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.
  4. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.  

Let's first observe, in Daniel 9:24, the parts in bold. This verse is the summary of the prophecies fulfilment for human kind destiny in God's hands.

The "seventy weeks" period corresponds to 70 × 7 years = 490 years (1 week = seven years). This period is designed for:

  • to finish transgression, to put an end to sin = God gives a timeframe for his people to get back to Him
  • to atone for wickedness = it corresponds to the first coming of Jesus and His death, because Jesus came to pay for for our wickedness (Isaiah 53:5). The one who accepts Jesus, also atones for his own wickedness.
  • to bring in everlasting = to establish Christ's Kingdom
  • to seal up vision and prophecy  = fulfill the whole prophecy
  • to anoint the most holy = it corresponds to second coming of Christ. This will force billions of people to choose between Christ and the antichrist.

We observed that God established 490 years for this prophecy to get fulfilled. Based on this, Daniel 9:25 explains why Tribulation will last seven years:

"Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble."

In above verse, God says in His prophecy that: between Jerusalem rebuild (started by Ezra, under authorization of king Artaxerxes) and the anointed (Jesus, in his first coming) there will be 7 weeks (7 × 7 years = 49 years) plus 62 weeks (62 × 7 years = 434 years), totalizing 49 + 434 = 483 years.

Important note: They are not continuous 483 years, because we know that, between Ezra book and Jesus' first coming, more than 483 years went by. This is a period specified by the prophecy, that gets gradually fulfilled in different epochs until they reach the 490 years.

When did these 483 years get fulfilled? The answer is in Daniel 9:26, when he says that the Anointed One will be cut off. This verse corresponds to Jesus crucification: his death, ressurection and going up in the sky. At this moment, the messiah, Jesus Christ, was cut off from earth.

So, until Jesus' first coming, 483 years passed, from the total of the 490 years of this prophecy. There are still seven years which did not get fulfilled yet.

These seven years left are in Daniel 9:27, that shows the antichrist signing up an agreement of peace (false peace) to Israel. This is still about to happen.

<< Previous  

Index of the End Times Study